Alabama Chapter of PRSA Announces New Leadership for 2011


Sara Sanderson

PRSA Communications Co-Chair






New board prepares for growth

BIRMINGHAM, AL – January 3, 2011 — The Public Relations Society of America (“PRSA”), Alabama Chapter, has elected its officers and board members to serve in 2011.  Charles Bloom, the chapter’s outgoing president, inducted the officers at the December monthly meeting and passed the gavel to Brandon Wilson.

The officers are: President Brandon Wilson, president and CEO of The Wilbron Institute, LLC; President-Elect Michael Sznajderman, media relations coordinator for Alabama Power; Secretary David Majors, public affairs for State Farm Insurance; and Treasurer Hallie Bradley, public information representative for Alabama Power.

The PRSA Alabama Chapter board of directors are: Garland Stansell of Children’s Hospital of Alabama; Charles Bloom of the Southeastern Conference; Dave Rickey of the Birmingham Business Alliance; Rachel Olis of Children’s Hospital of Alabama; Tommy Palladino of EarthLink Business; Sara Sanderson of ADT Security Services; Teresa Lee of the City of Prattville; Ruwena Healy of Marketing 24/7, Inc.; Emily Bates of Sirote & Permutt; Chris Osborne of the Birmingham Red Cross; Holly Lollar of The Lollar Group; Stacy Smith of Strategic Public Relations; Mike Oakley of Alabama Power; Elaine Witt of Integrated Medical Systems; Allison Gray of Regions Financial Corporation; Melanie Davis of University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions; and Mitch Edwards of High Ground Solutions.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the 2011 Board of Directors for PRSA,” said Brandon Wilson, president of the PRSA Alabama Chapter. “We are looking forward to the upcoming year with creative ideas and new energy.  With about 120 members, we are strong but are always delighted to welcome professionals to join us for informative meetings and development opportunities.”

About the Alabama Chapter of Public Relations Society of America

The Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is represented by public relations professionals from the entire spectrum of Alabama. The members share the same commitment of serving employers and clients through effective programs of ethical communication based on responsible action. As part of the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals, the chapter seeks to provide members with access to a vast world of opportunities for development, professional growth and networking.



Public Relations & Marketing Seminar Hosted by PRSA North Carolina Chapter


The annual Public Relations & Marketing Seminar, hosted by NCPRSA, is a full-day professional development event held for PR and marketing professionals interested in advancing their skills. Consistently rated as “extremely valuable,” the annual Public Relations & Marketing Seminar serve as the only full-day seminar of its kind in the Southeast and offers a reasonably priced, high-quality program for public relations, marketing, advertising and communications professionals. Attendees can broaden their knowledge of essential topics and learn from top executives at leading organizations.

The 2010 seminar was held on Wednesday, November 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at UNC’s Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill, and featured a keynote address, presentations from regional PR and marketing leaders and multiple opportunities to network with fellow professionals.

Topics covered during the 2010 seminar included: accreditation, change management, creative environments, disaster communications, email marketing, ethics, event planning, event PR, location-based marketing, measurement, messaging, mobile media, online marketing, partner relationships, personal branding, planning, political PR, press releases, relationships, social media, social media policy, sustainability marketing and visual communications.
Top executives at leading organizations participated in the 2010 seminar, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Capstrat, Fleishman-Hillard, Forge Communications, French/West/Vaughn, GlaxoSmithKline, iContact, IMRE, Mike Davis PR, Moe’s Southwest Grill, New Kind, PR Newswire, Raleigh Convention Center, RTI International, Rockett Interactive, S&A Cherokee, Springleaf Strategies, TriOut, Triangle Red Cross, Two Toasters and the UNC General Alumni Association.

A complete agenda and additional details:


The Public Relations & Marketing Seminar aims to provide public relations, marketing, advertising and communications professionals with opportunities to network, participate in lively discussions and gain fresh insight into emerging trends and time-tested principles. In addition, the seminar serves as an opportunity for the chapter to display its value to members and nonmembers, share membership information and engage local experts for future involvement with the chapter.


  • NCPRSA’s seminar chair develops a slate of presenters based on PR and marketing basics and industry trends. The seminar chair collaborates with executive board members to finalize the agenda, negotiate space, catering and A/V needs, market the event and manage registration and on-site logistics.
  • Participants select three (3) feature presentations (six are offered) and four (4) roundtable discussions (16 are offered).
  • A keynote speaker presents during lunch to discuss a timely topic. The 2010 keynote was “The Grasshoppers’ Revenge” delivered by David Burney, Fellow AIGA, and CEO of New Kind.
  • Throughout the day, participants are able to network with presenters and other attendees (prior to the first session, during breaks, while in line for lunch and following the last roundtable).
  • Immediately following the seminar, participants are invited to provide feedback regarding the overall value of the event, relevance of topics and performance of the speakers.



The budget for the annual Public Relations & Marketing Seminar is based on the number of participants and expected expenses. Expenses for the 2010 seminar were projected at $7,020 (actual expenses totaled $8,600 due to the need for additional breakout space and increased catering costs). Expenditures for the 2010 seminar included printed materials (program agenda, evaluation forms and signage), space reservations and catering costs. Revenues for the 2010 seminar were projected at $14,040, but actual revenues totaled $16,800. Total attendance for the seminar was 108, which included 23 students. Net income for the seminar totaled $8,200 ($1,180 more than projected).


Outcomes and Measurement:

Now in its ninth year, the Public Relations & Marketing seminar has show steady growth in the number of participants who register each year and the number of local experts who are willing to speak about topics of interest to communications professionals. Evaluation forms continue to show that our participants value the event as a whole and appreciate the speakers who present and the topics that they cover. Net income continues to grow as well, providing evidence to NCPRSA’s board that the seminar is a sound financial investment.

Why was this successful?

The annual seminar is successful due to the efforts of dedicated seminar chairs and responsive executive board members. Without the tireless efforts of those who develop and work with dozens of speakers, coordinate the on-site logistics and market the event, there’s no way the seminar would continue to thrive. In addition, participants make the entire process worth it. Many of our participants are repeaters, further cementing our belief that this seminar is a true value for communications professionals.


If you had the chance, what would you change?

Based on feedback and experience, we plan to decrease the number of roundtable discussions offered during the afternoon. This will enable us to dedicate breakout rooms to one discussion each, enabling folks to engage in lively discussions without disrupting other groups.